Television production companies have halted their work with the actor and director Noel Clarke after the Guardian published detailed allegations of sexual harassment against him.
On Thursday night, the Guardian described the accounts of 20 mujeres who claim Clarke sexually harassed them. The director, who first came to fame for his Kidulthood series of films, strongly denies the accusations, which were made shortly after Bafta announced that it planned to give Clarke a special award for outstanding British contribution to cinema.
Sky said it stopped work on the forthcoming series of the award-winning police show Bulletproof, which was created by and also stars Clarke, after reading the allegations.
It said: “Sky stands against all forms of sexual harassment and bullying and takes any allegations of this nature extremely seriously. Effective immediately, we have halted Noel Clarke’s involvement in any future Sky productions.”
Vertigo Films, the UK producer behind Bulletproof, dijo en un comunicado: “We are devastated to hear about these allegations and have launched an urgent investigation to find out if any apply to any Vertigo Films productions. Our immediate concern is for any cast or crew who may have had a negative experience on set.
It said it had not received any complaints but encouraged anyone affected to get in contact. It said: “Effective immediately, Noel Clarke is removed from any Vertigo Films production.”
ITV has yet to comment on whether it will show the final episode of Clarke’s new show, Viewpoint, which is due to be broadcast on Friday night. The five-part programme is being shown in a prestigious 9pm slot every night this week. On Friday morning, the channel was still showing promotional clips for the concluding programme even as the channel’s news programmes reported the allegations against Clarke.
Michaela Coel, whose award-winning BBC series I May Destroy You was influenced by her experience of sexual assault in the television industry, also publicly offered her backing for the individuals who spoke to the Guardian.
“I am here to offer great support for the 20 brave women who have come forward; those who have shared their identities with us, but also those who have preferred to use an alias.
“Speaking about these incidents takes a lot of strength because some call them ‘grey areas’. They are however far from grey. These behaviours are unprofessional, violent, and can destroy a person’s perception of themselves, their places in the world and their career irreparably. I have shared to show solidarity, to express my belief in them and to stand with them in their indignation. I applaud the Guardian and its journalists for investigating and publishing this story.”
Clarke has denied all but one of the claims made by the Guardian and said in a statement: “If anyone who has worked with me has ever felt uncomfortable or disrespected, I sincerely apologise. I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or wrongdoing and intend to defend myself against these false allegations.”